The two highest-profile events in American politics this week were the President’s State of the Union address, followed by the State of Marco Rubio’s Throat address, which was apparently “Dry. So very, very dry…”
I don’t always go for these easy, meme-ready references that every other cartoonist and political humorists in the country immediately jumps on, but I felt like I could tie this one to the content of Rubio’s speech, which consisted of the usual Republican condemnations of the government as nothing but an inhibiting force that holds people back, followed almost immediately by personal anecdotes explaining all the times the government has helped the speaker out, allowing him to get to where he is today.
I think it’s a symptom of the GOP trying to simultaneously sell themselves to two sets of people with pitched viewpoints: One group, consisting mostly of retired people and Hispanics/Latinos, recognizes the value of so-called “entitlements” from personal experience; the other, consisting mostly of slobbering lunatics and wealthy jerks, just wants to tear the whole thing down so they can build their own personal fiefdoms.
Attempting to appeal to both points of view results in a guiding platform that seems either hollow or schizophrenic, forcing a speaker like Marco Rubio to condemn the government in general while also giving a wink to the audience as individuals, saying that he and they are the exceptions: “It’s not your government that’s bad, just everyone else’s. It’s not your ‘entitlements’ that need to be reformed, it’s those other lazy, good-for-nothings.”
It’s an appeal to the same sort of self-delusion that allows a person to think “The only moral abortion is my abortion“–the glorification of selfishness and greed as virtues, as opposed to failings, that kept Ayn Rand from disappearing into literary obscurity forever, even though she was a lousy writer, and the economic and moral philosophies informing her work were derived directly from her Bobby soxer-like idolization of a child murderer.
In other words: “Fuck you, got mine.”